I bake homemade wheat bread, but after a few days it becomes moldy (dark), even the dough in the refrigerator. I understand that calcium propionate and potassium sorbate are safe preservatives, but I don't have any idea what amounts to use.

Normally I use to work with a whole bag (25 Pounds) of wheat flour in a Hobart commercial mixer. This SA question answers how much calcium propionate to use.

But: Can I use potassium sorbate as well? Can I change any of those two products by ascorbic acid (Vitamin C) or should I use all of 3? What amounts should I use then?

  • 1
    Before starting to add food preservatives, have you checked what's your room temperature / fridge temperature with a thermometer? Also, how much is a few days: 2, 3 or 10? Is the air perhaps too humid? Those factors might make a difference in the shelf life of your dough.
    – Luciano
    Jun 22, 2017 at 12:32
  • also, check this question cooking.stackexchange.com/questions/62280/…
    – Luciano
    Jun 22, 2017 at 12:33

1 Answer 1


No to the potassium sorbate, because it will inhibit yeast growth. (Use potassium sorbate as a preservative in chemically-leavened goods such as cakes, cookies... even non-leavened things such as pie crusts. Just don't use it with yeast.)

As for the calcium propionate, check my answer for details on the page to which you provided a link.

Yes, you can use ascorbic acid along with calcium propionate -- but be sure you want the effects it will have on your dough -- such as finer, softer crumb structure and shorter rise/proof times. If you're after a sturdier, more open crumb, ascorbic acid might not be for you. If you want to try it anyway, start with the bare minimum amount. I have read suggested amounts of anywhere from 15 to 80 ppm (0.0015 to 0.0080%) of the flour weight. I've had good luck with about 70 ppm (0.007 baker's percent) -- or roughly 1/16 of a teaspoon of the particular ascorbic acid per pound of flour that I have on hand. That would work out to just a shade over 1½ teaspoons per 25-pound bag of flour! I recommend weighing (especially when working with large batches that can become expensive mistakes -- and be careful; a little goes a very long way!

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